For years Winnipeg has held the ominous title of Murder Capital of Canada
By Dami Igbinyemi
On the evening of July 31st, 2021, a 41-year-old male was assaulted at a shared residence in the 400 block of Atlantic Avenue. Two residences were having a heated argument that led to a physical altercation in which the suspect fled the scene. On August 1st, at around 3:30 am, emergency services located a deceased male, and the police were notified. The suspect was found and charged with Manslaughter on August 4th, 2021. This makes the 26th homicide for Winnipeg in 2021.
The number of police-reported crimes in the early months of the pandemic was significantly lower than the previous year. In the first three months of 2020, before the pandemic, crime was 4% higher than in the first three months of 2019. In April 2020, a month into the pandemic with the most restrictions, there were 18% fewer crime incidents than April 2019. There was an overall decrease in crime incidents from March to December 2020 than the previous year. The police-reported crime rates decrease 10% in 2020. The police-reported property crime rate decreased 13% the largest percentage change since 1998.
In 2019, Manitoba logged 72 homicides, 17 more than in 2018 giving the province the highest homicide rate per capita in the country. From 1982 to 2012, Winnipeg had the highest murder rate, with a rate of 6.2 per 100,000 residents. This rate was 4 times higher than the national rate of 1.7 per capital making Winnipeg the murder capital of Canada for while. Winnipeg logged 42 homicides in 2019, setting a new record for most homicides in a year.
“Our government has and will continue to prioritize community safety and has implemented a number of recommendations from stakeholders and other organizations across the province to combat crime. Manitobans deserve to feel safe in their communities and we will continue to work to improve public safety in our province.” A spokesperson for the Manitoba government said.
With four months left of the year and COVID restrictions easing down, Winnipeg might be looking at an increase in the homicide number.